Posted by: Barry Bickmore | April 20, 2011

My Second Reply to Senator Hatch

Below is my reply to this letter from Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).  I’ve collected all my posts about Orrin Hatch here.

Dear Senator Hatch,

Thanks for your March 30 reply to my criticisms about your stance on climate change.  If you don’t mind, I’d like to keep trying to influence your views about this important issue.  As I told you before, I am a Republican who shares your aversion to increased government control, and a few years ago I might have been categorized as a “climate change skeptic” myself.  I wasn’t an activist, by any means, but I bought into some of the same objections about uncertainty in models, and so on, that you bring up.  When I really started looking into the issue, however, I had enough related expertise to realize that the skeptics I had been listening to were conveniently leaving out important information, throwing out red herrings, and focusing on grey areas having to do with details that wouldn’t really change the overall picture.  I’m hoping I can help you see what I did.

Many of the objections you bring up are telltale signs that whomever you’ve been listening to has been distracting you with arguments that, at best, are rabbit trails that lead away from the main issues, and at worst, are flatly untrue.  (I don’t mean this as a criticism of you, since I’ve been distracted by some of the same arguments in the past.)

The most important scientific issue is overall climate sensitivity–i.e., if the rate of energy input or output from the Earth is changed (by altering solar input, greenhouse gas concentrations, and so on,) how much will the average temperature change?  One can apply basic physics to calculate that if you double the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, the temperature will rise by about 1.2 °C, and nobody (besides a few non-scientist crackpots) disputes this figure.  When the feedbacks in the system kick in, however, they can cause the temperature change to vary from this initial figure.  I gather from your website that you already understand this point, but here’s where you go wrong.  What really matters is not whether the models have all the individual feedbacks (like water vapor and clouds) exactly right, but whether the magnitude of the feedbacks as a whole is about right.  And this overall climate sensitivity is something that has been empirically estimated in a number of ways.  So in fact, it is “backed up with something more than hypothetical computer modeling,” as you put it.  Climate sensitivity has been estimated for the 20th century, for the last millennium, for the last several hundred thousand years, and even for the last several hundred million years, using different methods of estimating greenhouse gas concentrations and solar input, among other things.  Obviously, all these different methods are going to have different degrees of uncertainty, but the fact is that they all come up with central estimates that are pretty close to that of the IPCC–about 3.0 °C for a doubling of CO2.  They consistently indicate that the system is dominated by positive feedbacks.  If you would like to have a look at a good summary of this evidence, with references to the primary literature, check out the following URL.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-advanced.htm

It’s true that there’s considerable uncertainty in the magnitude of the cloud feedback, for instance, but improving the representation of individual feedbacks in models is only likely to significantly affect the timing of temperature change, not the overall climate sensitivity, which has been empirically estimated.  Since you brought up the fact that a few scientists think the Sun has a much bigger role in climate change than the IPCC models indicate, you will no doubt be interested to read in the article I linked that Tung and Camp (2007) estimated climate sensitivity by looking at the response of the climate to the 11-year solar cycle.  And guess what?  The sensitivity they estimated was the equivalent of about 2.3-4.1 °C for a doubling of CO2, which is quite similar to the IPCC estimate of 2.0-4.5 °C.

A second tactic often used by climate contrarians is to throw out statistics that seem to contradict model projections, when in reality they either don’t really contradict the projections, or aren’t really the kind of thing the models are designed to project with any confidence.  Your response seems to indicate that you’ve been listening to these kinds of arguments, as well.  You argue, for example, “The IPCC models did not predict that NOAA’s satellite data would show Utah’s annual average temperature declining in the last 15 years, with a steeper decline in the last 10 years.  If human CO2 were the major climate driver, this would not be occurring.  At least, this is what many climatologists (including IPCC lead authors) have told me.”

To understand how your “IPCC lead authors” have misled you, you need to understand something about modeling complex systems.  That is, the models will ALWAYS be oversimplified in some respects, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be pretty good at some things.  Think of a bathtub, for instance.  It’s pretty easy to measure the average rate water is coming in from the spout, and it’s pretty easy to show that the rate water exits the drain is closely approximated by a simple function of the size of the drain hole and the height of the water above it.  Therefore, I can make a simple model of my bathtub that will be able to predict the average water level with striking precision if I know the average flow rate from the spout.  But if you want me to make a model to predict how my rubber duck will meander around the tub, then that’s a different matter!  For that, I’d have to take into account the exact shape of the tub, the positioning of the spout and drain, the hydrodynamic properties of my rubber duck, the exact starting position of the duck, and so on.  And even then, I probably couldn’t do a very good job, because the water isn’t delivered to the tub in a perfectly uniform stream–it varies chaotically.  So my model would have to be vastly more complicated, and the best I could probably end up doing is to give a not-very-precise range of possible outcomes for my duck.

It’s the same way with climate models.  If you want a model that can pretty accurately project the global average temperature evolution, given changes in solar input (analogous to water coming into the tub from the spout) and greenhouse gas concentrations (analogous to the size of the drain hole), then that’s pretty do-able.  But if you want to know exactly how ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns will change to affect specific localities like Utah, that’s WAY more complicated.  For one thing, the resolution of the best IPCC models is poor enough that a place the size of Utah would be represented by very few pixels.  At this course resolution, geographic features like mountain ranges, which have big effects on local climate, can’t be represented very well.  Consequently, nobody has ever claimed that GCMs should be that good at projecting climate change in a small, mountainous place like Utah.  You can read about some of these model limitations in the IPCC report.

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch11s11-es.html

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch1s1-5-1.html

Your choice of time periods for the trends you cited was similarly suspect.  Weather is chaotic at short time scales, so it isn’t very predictable.  But the chaotic fluctuations get averaged out over time, so that the average temperature in a certain locality over a year is much more predictable than the temperature on a certain day.  Likewise, the average temperature over the entire globe is much more predictable than that of a particular locality.  So how long does it take before all those chaotic fluctuations average out, and we’re talking about changes in “climate,” rather than changes in “weather”?  Climatologists generally look at time periods of at least 20-30 years, so 10-15 year time periods are still in the range that can vary a bit unpredictably, especially if you are talking about a small locality like Utah!

Let’s pretend your climatologist informants hadn’t made the mistake of using Utah (!!!) temperature trends to make their point.  What about the global temperature trend?  Well, the global temperature trend has been positive for the last 10-15 years, but it’s true that it hasn’t been as strongly positive as it was before that.  And you’re right–this is probably due in part to decreased solar activity.  If we look at shorter time periods (say 7 years), there have been some in the last while that had negative temperature trends.  Does this show that the models are wrong about what CO2 does in the atmosphere?  It turns out that the models aren’t good at predicting exactly when such short-term downturns will come, but they absolutely do predict that such downturns will come.  Take a look at Fig. 10.5 in the latest IPCC report, for instance.  (See the URL below.)  The individual lines in this figure show projections of different models (subjected to a 3-yr running average).  Note that the lines go up for a few years, and then go down for a few years at a time.  They mostly go up, but the point is that downturns lasting several years are completely consistent with the models.

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-10-5.html

Whoever was telling you that a short-term downturn in average temperature in a locality like Utah, of all places, is good test of whether “human CO2 [is] the major climate driver,” wasn’t being entirely forthright.  The fact is that something like that could be consistent with CO2 being a major climate driver, or with the opposite scenario, so it doesn’t really constitute a test of any real hypothesis.

The tendency to focus on questions that don’t get at the central issues manifests itself again when you say you’re holding out for “a conclusive explanation for the observed causal relationship problem of the Vostok ice cores”.  Why?  We know that if the temperature starts increasing for some reason (changes in solar input, or whatever) the ocean will expel some of its dissolved CO2, and it takes hundreds of years for the deep ocean to circulate up to the top to interact with the atmosphere.  That’s just basic geochemistry.  There are also other plausible processes that could explain why temperature would go up first, and then CO2 afterward, e.g., colder periods are drier, and so there is more dust in the air.  This dust contains iron, and can fertilize the Southern Ocean.  The algae and plankton that live there would thrive, using up more CO2, and sink to the bottom of the ocean, sequestering it.  There are still other processes that could have contributed, as well, but it’s hard to tell at this point which ones would have been the dominant causes.  But even if it’s impossible to tell what were the exact processes involved in creating the time lag between temperature and CO2 rises, this question doesn’t really address what adding or removing CO2 in the atmosphere did to enhance temperature changes during the glacial-interglacial cycles.  To address that, you have to do an energy balance calculation.  Luckily, we have a good idea how solar input was changing over this time period, we know how greenhouse gas concentrations changed, and we have a good idea what the extent of the ice sheets was (which would have affected the reflectivity of the Earth’s surface).  Yet again, if you plug all these numbers into the relevant energy balance equation, you come up with a climate sensitivity of about 3 °C for a doubling of CO2.  (See the article on climate sensitivity I linked above.)

The vocal fringe you’ve been listening to is constantly whining about their papers being rejected due to bias, but in my experience, every one of these charges I’ve checked into has turned out to be bogus.  Those rejected papers really were terrible, in other words.  For instance, Roy Spencer wrote a whole book because he couldn’t get one of his papers published, but when I took apart the model his work was based on, I found out that he was using a nonsensical statistical technique that allowed him to obtain almost any answer he wanted.  And he did.  Following are links to my analysis of Spencer’s model, as well as a page at the Skeptical Science website where charges of bias in the review process based on out-of-context quotations from the “Climategate” e-mails are examined.

http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/roy-spencers-great-blunder-part-3/

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Peer-review-process.htm

I ask you again to step back and look at the trend I’ve been pointing out throughout my correspondence with you.  If a single contrarian paper is published, it’s enough for you to pronounce AGW dead, even though you don’t have the expertise to assess it.  If less than 1% of the IPCC scientists dissent about the IPCC’s conclusions, it’s enough for you to dismiss the overwhelming consensus of experts.  If any natural variations have ever occurred, then you just assume recent changes have been naturally caused, too, even if no natural cause can plausibly be identified for the present trend.  If someone proposes action that won’t immediately and completely solve the problem, you justify yourself in neglecting to take any action at all.  If you are told that there are still significant grey areas about the details of climate dynamics, you take that to mean we can’t have any real confidence in the overall results of climate models.  After all, you buy into the assertion that the climate models themselves are all we have to constrain overall climate sensitivity, which is flatly untrue.  You think local, short-term temperature trends should be an adequate test of whether GCMs are accurately projecting what they are supposed to, which is also false.  You make a big deal about the timing of temperature and CO2 changes in the glacial/interglacial cycles, even though overall climate sensitivity (the really important issue) isn’t really addressed by this.  Finally, you continue to avoid admitting a scientific consensus exists on the issue, but at the same time buy into the idea that the skeptics are being shut out of the peer-reviewed literature?  How could that happen, unless there really were a strong consensus?

When you add all this up and boil it down, it’s hard to avoid the following conclusions.  1) Even if you’ve tried to get up to speed on the science of climate change, there are still very large gaps in your understanding of the basics.  2) Some of the scientists you are getting your information from have taken advantage of these gaps to mislead you about the state of the evidence regarding the fundamental scientific questions.  3) You have been susceptible to this manipulation by this tiny minority of climate scientists because it’s more convenient, in terms of our shared political ideology, to believe there is no climate change problem to solve, since most of the solutions proposed so far have involved greater government regulation.  Or at least, you find it convenient to “keep an open mind,” which allows you to do essentially nothing while avoiding head-to-head confrontations with the majority of climate scientists.

You confirmed this last conclusion when you said, “As a policymaker, I am always wary of any effort to centralize control of human activity.  And I am genuinely skeptical that turning control of human carbon emissions over to centralized powers is useful or desirable at this time.”

My challenge to you is to be a real conservative, rather than simply a right-wing ideologue.  A real conservative confronts problems, and tries to find solutions that involve the least possible government interference.  Right-wing ideologues try to pretend there are no problems for the government to solve.  Don’t believe a tiny minority of scientists just because you are pre-disposed to want reasons to doubt the consensus.  There are always reasons for doubt, so a few grey areas in the science should not be sufficient to allow us to ignore clear evidence that we are subjecting ourselves and our children to grave risks.

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Responses

  1. That’s really an excellent letter, Barry. Especially since you used my climate sensitivity post :-)

    I hope this influences the Senator’s thinking, though I’m not holding my breath.

    • I’ve used your climate sensitivity post a number of times. It’s very, very useful. I’ve toyed with the idea of collecting quotations from climate contrarians saying that climate sensitivity is THE issue. I know Monckton has said that, and I think Roy Spencer did, as well.

  2. RE: What the Russians Say about Climate Change

    Hello Barry!

    You should obtain the following ref’s which show the earth has a ca 60 yr climate cycle.

    “Climate Change and Long-term Fluctuations of Commercial Catches: The Possibilty of Forecasting” by K.B. Klyashtorin

    FAO Fisheries Technical Report. No. 410. Rome, FAO. 2001

    Available at:

    ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/005/y2787e/y2787e00.pdf.

    By analyzing climate and fish catch data, Klashtorin found the earth has a general climate cycle of 55-60 years which has cool and warm phases of about 30 years.

    Note date of publication. Was this report passed onto the IPCC?

    The above prelimary study was followed by this momgraph:

    “Cyclic Climate Changes and Fish Productivity” by K.B. Klashtorin and A.A. Lyubshin, which you can download for free thru this link:

    http://alexeylyubushin.narod.ru/Climate_Changes__and_Fish_Productivity.pdf?

    NB: This mongraph is 224 pages. This book is not about climate science. The Russian edition was published in 2005. The English translation was published in 2007 and was edited by Gary D Sharp.

    By analyzing a number of time series of phenomena influenced by climate, they found that the earth has global climate cycles of 50-70 years with an average of about 60 years and which have cool and warm phases of ca 30 years each. They summerize most of the studies thru early 2005 that show how this cycle influences fish catches in the major fisheries.

    The last warm phase began in ca 1970-75 (aka the Great Shift) and ended in ca 2000. The global warming from ca 1975 is due in part to this warm phase. A cool phase started in 2000, and their stochastic model projects that it should last about 30 years. See Fig 2.23 p 54.

    See also Fig. 2.22 (p. 52) and Table 2 (p. 53). They show that increasing world fuel consumption (i.e., increasing CO2 emission) does not correlate with cool and warm phases of the 60 year global climate cycle. That is to say, they show that increasing CO2 concentration in the air does cause global warming.

    Was the IPCC aware of this seminal monograph and the climate projection made by the authors that are in conflict with their projections of warming?

    • Harold,

      I’m sorry, but scientists would not take this seriously. In your first link the abstract says,

      “It was found that the dynamics of global air surface temperature anomaly (dT), although in correlation with the long-term dynamics of marine fish production, is of poor predictive significance because of high inter-annual variability and a long-term trend.”

      In other words, even if there are “cycles” in the data, there is a LONG-TERM TREND, as well, which wasn’t useful for predicting fish production.

      Aside from that, these references aren’t taken from the peer-reviewed literature about climate, so why should they be discussed in the IPCC reports?

      • Barry says:

        Aside from that, these references aren’t taken from the peer-reviewed literature about climate, so why should they be discussed in the IPCC report

        Presumably the technical report was reviewed internally by UN FAO staff.

        Go read the first two chapters of the monograph and check the ref’s. The gist of the Russian’s work is that there are climate cycles and the climate is now entering a cool phase. I betting on the Russians.

        This April in BC has been one of the coldest in about 70 years.

        You should check out “Global Warming Science” for more info on climate cycles at:

        http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/

      • >> Harold Pierce Jr

        Does the book say anything about carbon levels and influences?

        I imagine you are aware of almost innumerable examples in our lives of cycles within cycles.. yet where the overall trends go in one direction. [Look at the history of the Dow Jones Industrial value: up down up down up down yet trending upwards in part because of relatively steady growth in inflation.]

        Without man we would have cycles. The question is what bias does man introduce if any.

  3. RE: The New Communist Manifesto for British Cloumbia

    You must download and study the “Climate Action Plan” for BC from:

    http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cas/cap.html#cap

    On July 2008, BC enacted the “Climate Action Plan” (CAP) and started Phase One of the Plan: A carbon tax on fossil fuels at $20 per tonne of CO2 equivalent. This tax will increase to $30 per tonne on July 1, 2012.

    I pay a ca 20% tax on the commodity price of BC nat gas. In Metro Vancouver, we are experiencing record-breaking cold temps for April and there are no provision in the CAP for unusual cold snaps.

    The BC gov will soon introduce Phase Two: Laws regulating the emission of GHG’s from all sources. When the Climate Action Plan is fully “entrenched” in law, the BC gov has the “legislative authority” to:

    1. Indirectly, seize control of all means of production.

    2. Indirectly, control the production of all goods and services.

    3. Use the carbon tax scheme to redistribute wealth via tax cuts to busineses and corporations and to taxpayers with incomes less than $120,000. Individual taxpayers and families with incomes much greater than $120,000 get no tax breaks.

    4. Control every aspect of the affairs and lives of the people of BC. For example, banning the sale of certain incan. lightbulbs.

    NB: The terms “entrenched” and “legislative authority” are used in the CAP.

    What is really scary about the CAP is that the clueless folks in BC have swallowed the CAP hook, line, sinker, beaver, bear, and bluejay. There has been no complaints so far about the CAP because they have brain washed by the white-coated wiseguys aka climate scientists and the likes of Don David Suzuki who is a running a climate protection racket and shaking down a guillible public for cold hard cash.

    Young man, you really haven’t got a clue about the true objectives of the UN via its front organization the IPCC, but you do now. Do you really want Lisa J and her crowd controlling every aspect of your life?

    • So I gather you don’t like how BC is handling the situation. What does that have to do with the question of whether there is a “situation” to handle?

      • When you start paying carbon taxes on fossil fuels. then you will to take a long, hard look at all the claims the IPCC and climate scientists have been making lately

        Here are the current carbon taxes on fossil fuels as of July 1, 2010:

        Gasoline 4.45 ¢/litre

        Diesel 5.11

        Jet Fuel 5.22

        Propane 3.08

        Natural Gas 3.80 ¢/cubic metre

        Coal, high heat value 41.54 $/tonne

        Coal, low heat value 35.54 $/tonne

        Note the apparent low tax rate on nat gas. The actual tax is $0.9932 per gigajoule of BC nat gas which costs $4.568 per gigajoule. That is tax rate of 21.7%

        On July 1, 2012 the the carbon tax will increase to $30 per tonne of CO2 equivalent. This is a 50% increase of the above taxes.

        Since you are strong suppoters of AGW theory and the proposal that carbon dioxde emissions must be reduced, I presume you will be quiet happy to pay carbon taxes on fossil fuels. Like ca $1.50 per gigajoule of nat gas for space and water heating a year from now.

  4. PS: When I post these comments on Joe “Rantin’ Joe” Romm’s blog, he wacks them. As does SOD, Gavin S., John C., Tamino, etc!

    • I won’t delete your comments unless you start making a nuisance of yourself by posting the same ridiculous comments over and over, or become abusive. You haven’t started off very well, given that the only substantive thing you’ve said so far was based on a misreading of your source material.

  5. You aren’t getting it, Harold. Nobody disputes that there are “climate cycles.” But a “cycle” is, well, “cyclic.” That is, it goes back and forth, and nothing changes in the long term. If there is a “long term trend” ON TOP OF the “cycles,” then that can’t be explained by “cyclic” behavior. Your reference says there’s a long-term trend on top of the cyclic behavior that is identified, which is consistent with AGW. Why don’t you write the author of the monograph, and ask him what he thinks the significance of his work is for AGW?

    • Get out and study a recent atlas of the earth. After a short while you will conclude:

      1. There are few humans on the earth.

      2. Humans occupy a small fraction of the earth’s surface.

      3. Humans have changed from its orignal form only very small portion of the earth’s surface by construction of cities, dams, open-pit mines, etc.

      4. About 50% of humans now live in cities and urban areas.

      5. Humans are migrating to urban areas in ever increasing numbers.

      6. There are vast areas of land that are unoccupied by humans suchas the polar regions, large deserts, Greenland, Canada, Siberia, western regions of the US, etc.

      7. Most of the humans live in poverty.

      I live in Canada and the geographical area surface is 6 trillion acres. The
      “enviromental area”, which includes all of surface water out to the economic zone limit, is much greater than 7 trillion acres. Presently, there are about 33 million humans living in Canada, and it physically impossible for them to have any influence on the climate of Canada.

      Ir you want find out if there has been any climate change or any possibilities of climate change, go talk to the Elders of the First Nations Peoples.

      BTW Why you are wasting so much time on all this global warming gobblygook and climate change claptrap, when you could be out prospecting for minerals and interesting rocks?

      Somewhere out there under the vast humongous sand dunes there is just gotta a mother lode of minerals such as heavy metal ores, gold and sliver sitting on the bedrock.

      • I didn’t get your point. I’m not sure your grand kids would either.

        It’s interesting you seem to shun science when that science is the reason many do live in a modern world full of comforts.

        And imagine ignoring the issue and then having a great population explosion that is matched by a similar explosion in more of the sort of activities that very well may be leading to ugly current predictions. Imagine when all of those people living in poverty start manufacturing irresponsibly and using up much more of the land!

        I don’t think the Elders have the historical data, grasp of modern science, and computer analysis capabilities of climatologists (unless they are already climatologists themselves).

        What do you have against prospecting for minerals in a responsible way?

        “Head in the sand” does not prevent the lion form sneaking up to you and eating you.

  6. I would suggest that your esteemed senator may have no interest whatsoever in having his mind changed. His interest in denying climate change may well be tied to economic benefit to existing vested interests. If bad things happen as a result of climate change in some number of years, then that will be political fodder for that election (and election funding) cycle. If actions to address climate change are undertaken now, someone with lots of money may think they have something to lose. We seem to have decided, as a nation, that all policies must have as their sole and relentless focus the immediate further enrichment of the already vastly wealthy. As a result, the opportunity to address possible problems is lost. Unless the possible problem is that a really wealthy person has realized there is some wealth he or she has not been able to lock in as their own just yet. ;-)

  7. With regard to Mr Pierce Jr’s cycles, why is it that when one simply plots the temperature and and its trend using HADCRUT (since 1850), there is a long-term upward trend ? Perhaps that shows that these cyles are part of the ‘noise’ but not a cause of the long-term trend ?

    So even if we do somehow enter some sort of 30 year cool cycle, how does Mr Pierce Jr think it will make things any different than the last so-called cool cycle (presumably from the 40s to the 70s) which didn’t seem to stop that positive trend shown since 1850 ? Or is this particular cool cycle going to be the mother of all cool cyles ?

  8. ATTN: JMurphy

    The HADCRUT temperature data base is not reliable. Please go to:

    http://www.wolframalpha.com

    In the imput box enter: weather Parowan Utah. Click on the red box with the equal sign. In a flash the Wolf retrieves the temp data for Parowan

    In the section “Weather History and Forecast”, mouse over to the drop down menu and click on “All”. A plot of the annual mean temp is displayed with an OLS fit and a computed trend since ca 1940 to present.

    Now go do this for all the county seats in Utah and record the trends. Note that most of country seats are classified as rural. Compare trends to those of the large cities.

    When you get this done for Utah, go do this from every state in the US. Start next with TEXAS. For most all the small towns at rural sites the trends will probably be negative such as is the case for Ely NV. You will never convince the folks in Ely that there is “global warming”.

    JM says:

    “Or is this particular cool cycle going to be the mother of all cool cyles?”

    Very most likely. Start stocking on wool socks and mittens if you live in northern portion of the US. This April in Metro Vancouver (aka Lotus Land) has been the coldest on record.

    BTW It is Dr. Pierce. I am a chemist: B.Sc(Hon) 1967 UI-UC, Ph.D. 1972 UC Irvine.

    • Harold, the global temperature trends in the two satellite data sets (including UAH, which is managed by notorious climate contrarians Roy Spencer and John Christy), and the other land-based data sets, all agree with HadCRUT, within the error bars. And yet, satellite data can’t possibly be affected by urban heat island growth.

      Therefore, you are flatly wrong. Period.

      What you fail to realize is that the people who put together the land-based temperature data sets MAKE CORRECTIONS on the urban data, based on surrounding rural stations.

      • I’m not wrong and I never make mistakes. The current methods used for analyzing temp records are worthless because Tmax and Tmin metrics have to be kept separate as Roger Sr et al have shown in several of their papers.

        Here is a comment I posted over at JC’s blog a few days ago.

        RE: Preliminary Analysis of Temperature Data from China Lake, CA Falsifies the Enhanced AGW Hypothesis.

        Here are the results of the analysis of temperature data for June 21 for the sample range of 1950-2009:

        Mean Tmax +/- AD = 38 +/- 1 deg C
        Mean Tmin +/- AD = 20 +/- 0 deg C

        where AD = average deviation and resolution of therometer = 1 deg C.

        Temperature Data Source: The Weather Underground.

        For this analysis sunlight is constant over the sample interval of 1 day. Specific humidity is generally low and the sky is mostly cloud free. We do not know the actual change in concentration of CO2 over the sample range at this site. We can estimate that it will increase by ca 25% based on data from Mauna Loa which are only valid for _ highly-purified, bone-dry air_.

        I concluded from this preliminary analysis of the temperature data that increasing concentration of atmospheric CO2 from 1950 cause no warming
        of the air at this site.

        Note that N= 2 for this test of the enhanced AGW hypothesis. To complete this preliminary analysis I shall do ths analysis for March 21, June 21 and December 21. A complete analysis would use _every day_ of the temperature record for the sample range of 1950-2009. Temperature data for rainy days will not be used.

        Note that for Tmin, AD = 0 deg F over the sample range of 60 years. In a desert Tmin usually occurs in the hours just before sunrise.

        A major criticism of this method of analysis is that the resolution of therometer must be greater (e.g., 0.1 deg C) to detect any “warming” of the air at this site. However, such data is not usually available from US weather stations especially for the early part of the record.

        To analyze a station temperature record by this method would quite time-consuming and tedious, but I claim that it is a superior method of analysis.

        Here are the result of an analysis of the annual mean temperature for Utah
        for Feb and for the sample range 1900-2010:

        Tmean = 31 +/- 3 deg F

        Temperature Data Source: NCDC “Climate at Glance” web page.

        Weather noise (WN) is computed using this formula: WN = AD – FT, where AD is the average deviation and FT is the resolution of the therometer (1 deg F). Thus, WN = 2 deg F ( ca. 1 deg C). WN is an absolute value i.e., unsigned. Note that the sample range is 110 years.

        Utah is good source for temperature data since the lvery little of the land surface has been changed and has a very low population.

        I analyzed the temperature records from the weather station at Quatsino, BC for the sample range 1895-2010 by the above method and found that for both Tmax and Tmin, WN = 1.4 deg C for the sample periods of March, June, September and December. I also found that the mean Tmax and Tmin for the sample interval 1900-09 are the same as that for sample interval 2000-2010 for the same sample periods. There has been no detectable “global warming” at this very remote site for a century.

  9. Hi Bar,
    Feeling a little down… Thought I’d check in and see if you could cheer me up at all. It seems a lot of people are forgetting about the importance of saving the planet from CO2. Even our president has stopped sounding the alarm.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-goldberg-20110427,0,2430644.story

    Is this thing slipping away from us? I’m frankly worried. No carbon tax, no cap and trade, zilch out of Copenhagen, Spencer ignoring you, Hatch doubting the consensus, AR4 fizzled (its illustrious leader, Pachauri, a laughing stock); do you think anyone will even read AR5? Oh God I’m depressed. Is there any way we can blame these tornadoes on CO2? One of my kids even came home from school the other day saying the teacher told her that “global temperatures have not significantly increased in 15 years”… what? Have the deniers taken over the schools now? At least we’ve got high gas prices, there’s one positive.

    Please help me Bar. All the cold, all the snow pack, all this water… where the H-E-double toothpicks is our desertification? Give me something positive to hope for.

    Warm Regards,
    DZ

    • Hi DZ,

      Don’t be such a wet blanket! Just remember that no matter what happens, people like me got to feel superior because we aren’t as phenomenally stupid as certain others. AND we’ll get to say “I told you so, you knuckle-dragging troglodytes.”

      If you ever start feeling down about it, again, just drop by and look at the following motivational quotes by Homer Simpson.

      “Sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is by making someone else look bad. And I’m tired of making other people feel good about themselves.”

      “If you really want something in this life you have to work for it. Now quiet, they’re about to announce the lottery numbers.”

      “You can’t keep blaming yourself. Just blame yourself once, and move on.”

      “You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is ‘never try’.”

      “Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true.”

      “If something is hard, then it is probably not worth doing.”

      “If something goes wrong at the plant, blame the guy who can’t speak English.”

      “Me lose brain? Uh, oh! Ha ha ha! Why I laugh?”

      “I’m not normally a religious man, but… if you’re up there, save me, Superman!”

      • Thanks for that Mr. B. For the life of me, I don’t know why I didn’t think of googling a few Homer Simpson quotes to cheer myself up. Look at you… out there saving the planet AND taking time to pull a fellow traveler out of a blue funk. Thanks again.

        This is no time to dawdle though. “Lord” Monckton is on the prowl again… spreading lies; this time about one of our favorite sustainable green alternatives.

        “The Sandwell Sparrow-Slicer will only run for 20 years, not 100, so our value for n is going to be too big, overstating the warming the thing will actually forestall. But it’s Be-Nice-To-Bedwetters Week, so we’ll use the centennial-scale value for n anyway.
        Let’s do it: 2.274 ln[438/(smidgen x tad <438)] is – well, put it this way, even my 12-digit-readout scientific calculator couldn’t do it, so I turned to Microsoft Excess. According to Bill Gates, the warming the Birmingham Bat-Batterer will forestall over the next 20 years will be rather less than 0.0000000000007 Celsius.
        As the shopping channels say, “But wait! There’s more!!!” Well, there could hardly be less. How much would it cost, I wondered, to forestall 1 Celsius degree of warming, if all measures to make “global warming” go away were as hilariously cost-ineffective as this silly windmill?
        You get the “mitigation cost-effectiveness” by dividing the total warming forestalled by the total lifetime cost of the project. And the answer? Well, it’s a very affordable £8 quadrillion ($13 quadrillion) per Celsius degree of warming forestalled. Remember, this is an underestimate, because our method tends to overstate the warming forestalled."

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/30/why-windmills-won%e2%80%99t-wash/#more-39048

        Oooh it makes me so mad, I could spit. He continuously refers to our noble IPCC as "IPeCaC". SERENITY NOW!

        Go get him sir.

  10. Harold Pierce Jr wrote : “This April in Metro Vancouver (aka Lotus Land) has been the coldest on record.”

    Although the month hasn’t finished yet (especially when you wrote that yesterday), do you have some figures to back that up ?
    By the way, the UK may be on for its warmest April ever. How about that, eh ? Do you really think woollen socks are that necessary ?

    By the way, a GISTEMP graph of data from 1880 also show a similar upward trend, albeit with a higher trend. Can that be discarded as somehow biased too ? Where is the cooling since 1880 ?

  11. Harold,

    You said, “I’m not wrong and I never make mistakes.”

    Well, that’s it, then. I have little patience for crackpots posting on my site. Further comments by you will be deleted.

    • Excellent troll management Sir.

      Warm regards,

      DZ

  12. Hi DZ,

    Alas, I haven’t had the heart to go after Monckton for a while, since I became convinced that he is truly and thoroughly mentally ill. Maybe I will, again, but it just isn’t as fun, anymore.

  13. May 5, 2011

    You got a reply from Senator Hatch? What a surprise! He NEVER replied to any of the mail I sent him, which was about a half dozen surface mail letters, about ten years ago. So, you did good.

    Kathy Caudle
    Salt Lake City


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